1 Building an Ethical Public Life: Case Studies in Transformational Leadership Anser Ali Grover Jamie Jones Jacqueline Klopp Roshana Nabi Prepared for the World Ethics Forum 2006 The Joint Conference of the: The International Institute for Public Ethics (IIPE), The Global Integrity Alliance, and the World Bank Leadership, Ethics and Integrity in Public Life 9-11 April 2006, Keble College, University of Oxford, UK
2 Building an Ethical Public Life: Case Studies in Transformational Leadership TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary... 3 Introduction/Rationale... 4 Case Study #1: Mayors Antanas Markus and Enrique Penalosa (Bogota, Columbia)... 6 Case Study #2: Mayor Selim Belsagic (Tuzla, Bosnia)... 9 Case Study #3: Mayor Goh Kun (Seoul, Korea) Case Study #4: Activist Zackie Achmat (South Africa) Case Study #5: CEO Titus Naikuni (Kenya Airways) Case Study #6: Mayor Jan Kasl (Prague, Czech Republic) Common Threads: Reasons for Success Re-imaging Public Life: Ethical Visions Practicing what you Preach: Personal Ethics Wandering-Around and Opening Channels for Communication The Road Ahead: Questions for Future Research References Appendix A: Additional Cases for Further Research...Error! Bookmark not defined. Bangladesh Cyclone Preparedness Programme...Error! Bookmark not defined. Jody Williams (International Campaign to Ban Landmines)... Error! Bookmark not defined. Norway Petroleum Fund...Error! Bookmark not defined. Porto Alegre Participatory Budgeting...Error! Bookmark not defined. South Africa s Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi...Error! Bookmark not defined.
3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This paper seeks to explore the role of ethical leadership in the positive transformation of public life whether this means a reduction of corruption, spearheading urban renewal or fostering cross-cultural harmony in the midst of violence. We examine five different case studies of leaders and their reforms that have been widely acknowledged as leading to change: Mayors Antanas Markus and Enrique Penalosa (Bogota, Columbia), Mayor Selim Belsagic (Tuzla, Bosnia), Mayor Goh Kun (Seoul, Korea), Treatment Action Campaign leader Zackie Achmat (South Africa), and Mayor Jan Kasl (Prague, Czech Republic). After a condensed discussion of each case, we offer a critical analysis of the common threads that help explain how change occurred. We isolate 5 dimensions that appear to contribute to the success of transformational and ethical leadership: 1) Articulation of a strong ethical vision that involves a strong sense of an inclusive public realm and interest 2) a personal ethics of practicing what you preach, that is becoming the personal embodiment of the new ethical vision 3) A wandering management style that emphasizes getting out of the office and into the streets as well as opening lines of communication between leaders and citizens 4) Overcoming resistance and shaping public opinion through creative use of public dissemination of information and use of the media (and in some cases new technology like the internet) and 5) Facilitating and building coalitions of support and advocacy networks through skilled mediation and communication between societal actors as well as a participatory leadership style. Comments and critiques are encouraged, and should be ed to Grover Jamie Jones Jacqueline Klopp Roshana Nabi or Anser Ali
4 INTRODUCTION/RATIONALE Many citizens view politics and public life as an immoral or at best, amoral realm. This perception is reinforced by the fact that many politicians put private interests above the public good and play a central role in corruption, violence, and environmental degradation. Critical scholarship on the public sector has reinforced this view. Indeed, in the 1980s the dominance of neo-classical economics and its emphasis on the economic man (and woman), self-interested and concerned with material gain, became the lens for viewing the public service. While this work drew an important theoretical focus on public sector failings, it did not leave much room for a way out. Since the rise of a Post Washington Consensus, the importance for material, environmental and social progress of a well-functioning and ethical public sector is once again clear. At the core of an ethical public sector is a well-functioning and equitable representative government as well as a vibrant public associational life with spaces for dialogue including a free press. However, the question of how to promote and sustain an ethical and effective public sector, especially in contexts characterized by poverty, deep conflict, corruption and clientelism, remains insufficiently answered. Part of the reason for this is that our views on public sector reforms are largely informed by our understanding of why governments so often do badly (Tendler 1997, 2). In addition, the leadership component of change has been poorly explored and most work on transformational leadership has focused on business or military leaders, and the majority of this work does not touch on what constitutes ethical leadership in the public realm (Ciulla 1998, Resick et. al. 2006). One important step then in learning how to foster and encourage ethical public life is to move beyond simply looking at what went wrong with certain public sector reform initiatives to critically explore cases of successful transformation and the ethical leaders behind the reforms. To assist in addressing this gap, this study explores five different cases of effective reformist leaders from different parts of the world in some detail: Mayors Antanas Markus and Enrique Penalosa (Bogota, Columbia), Mayor Selim Belsagic (Tuzla, Bosnia), Mayor Goh Kun (Seoul, Korea), Treatment Action Campaign leader Zackie Achmat (South Africa) and Mayor Jan Kasl (Prague). We recognize that all public figures have their supporters and detractors and have tried as much as possible to find a variety of unique cases in which a substantial consensus and overwhelming evidence exists that these leaders were key players in important ethical transformations of their societies (or at least in the case of Beslagic, protectors of the ethical fabric of society from violence and war-generated hatred). Our project here is to understand the processes and creativity behind their reforms. It is important to note that the leaders we profile were not the only key players in reform but were part of larger coalitions and support networks supporting reform. However, they often played a key role in facilitating and fostering if not building these reform networks. Thus our approach to the study of leadership also gives insight into broader transformative processes. We begin by introducing our case studies. These case studies briefly touch on the main challenges facing the leadership at the time and then focus on the basic outline of the
5 transformation and the key elements of reforms. In the second section of the paper, we undertake a more substantial analysis of the common threads that help to explain the underlying processes of transformation in the diverse cases selected.
6 CASE STUDY #1 Mayor Antanas Mockus and Mayor Enrique Penalosa In Bogotá, our goal was to make the city for all the children. The measure of a good city is one where a child on a tricycle or bicycle can safely go anywhere. If a city is good for children, it will be good for everybody else. (Enrique Penalosa interviewed by Walljasper 2004) In the 1980s and early 1990s Bogotá had a reputation for violence, pollution and corruption. The fear of kidnapping caused the wealthy to hire armed guards and install bullet-proof windows inside their homes. The city was infamous for its high murder rate. At one point, a half-dozen people were killed on average every day in Bogotá. (Santos 2005) The city suffered from a 38-year-old civil war, the War on Drugs, paralyzing traffic jams, and unbearable smog. To add to the problem, the municipal government let what little public services that existed deteriorate. Bogotá s transportation system was especially dismal. The city simply did not have enough adequate public thoroughfares to handle the ever increasing swell of vehicles. Problems were compounded by a bus system which was extremely inefficient and disorganized. There were no set bus schedules, stops or routes, and buses were always filled to capacity. In the late 90s and early 2000s, voters were fed up with these conditions and voted for two non-traditional mayors who initiated programs to bring about social, political and environmental change and created a model of progressive urban development. In stark contrast to preceding governments, these leaders had the personal skill and vision to champion the public good and make Bogotá a model city of reform. Antanas Mockus: On October 30, 1994, Antanas Mockus was elected Mayor of Bogotá with 64% of the vote (beating Enrique Penalosa from the Columbian Liberal Party) on a platform called No P meaning No Publicity, No Politics, No Money and No Party. (Montezuma, 2005) A mathematician and philosopher, Mockus had been a professor at the Colombian National University and did not have any experience in politics. He was elected because people in Bogotá saw him as an honest person. (Harvard Gazette, 2004) His District Development Plan for Forming a City, called for investment in: citizen education, public space, the environment, social progress, urban productivity, and institutional legitimacy. The focus of his administration was on citizen education. More than $100 million was allocated to the Citizen Education Program for 4 years starting in 1995 and it was carried out by the District Institute of Culture and Tourism. (Montezuma, 2005) Mockus goal through this program was to instill in the city s people a sense of responsibility for their everyday actions and to create a sense of urban co-existence. Entertainment was the hallmark of the program. The idea was to teach people by encouraging them to learn by
7 having fun. Skits were staged using street mimes and actors to teach people to use pedestrian crosswalks, to wear safety belts, and to minimize car honking. He distributed thumbs-up and thumbs-down cards to citizens, asking them to flash the cards whenever they saw an example of good or bad behavior on the streets. He organized peaceful rallies against terrorism and crime, trained 5,500 community leaders in conflict resolution, and held seminars on domestic violence. Mockus won admiration from the public with his refreshing and eccentric style. During his first term, he strolled down the streets in red and blue tights as a "Super Citizen," giving tips on civility. In an effort to highlight the problem of gender inequality, he also organized Women s Night. (Harvard Gazette, 2004) During this night men were encouraged to stay at home and take care of kids while their wives had a fun time out. Unpopular programs were also initiated such as the anti-gun campaign that prohibited the production, sale and use of gunpowder for recreational purposes. The semi-dry law known as the carrot hour was created to force nighttime establishments to close at 1:00 am. A series of broader based programs were initiated such as: Bogotá s Charm, the Capital Card, the Rule of the Game, Bogotá is to be Won or Lost and, We All Chip In. An Observatory of Urban Culture was created in 1996 to foster the study the city s transformation and to create alliances between academics and politicians on urban renewal. In 2001 he was re-elected for another term. (Montezuma, 2005) Enrique Penalosa: In 1998 Bogotá elected another dynamic leader Enrique Penalosa who in many ways built on Mockus achievements. Enrique Penalosa had studied economics, history, and public administration. His political background included representing the Liberal party in the assembly of Cundinamarca (Bogotá s province); serving as an economic secretary to Colombia s President Virgilio Barco ( ); serving as a congressman (1990); and running for mayor in He had worked both as an academic and as a director in the US consulting firm of Arthur D. Little. His District Development Plan for was called For the Bogotá We Want. The plan focused on poverty eradication, social integration, urban planning and services, and security and co-existence. Transportation and public space were the main priorities of the Penalosa administration. Convinced that cars were ruining the environment and quality of life in Bogotá and also that the dominance of cars reflected the deep inequalities in Colombia society, Penalosa created policies to reduce their use. The Pico y Placa program restricted traffic during peak hours to reduce rush hour traffic by 40 percent. He instituted Car Free Sundays and Car Free Days. On 29 February 2000, Bogotá held its first Without My Car in Bogotá day; during which the city functioned for one working day without the use of cars. The event was intended to encourage people to think about a more humane and sustainable city. Citizens supported the event and voted in a referendum for it to take place annually. Penalosa also created an Office to Defend Public Space with a mandate to recover land that had been illegally occupied or seized. Furthermore, large public spaces were set aside for pedestrians through the establishment of formal and technical standards
8 governing the placement of promenades, park benches and fences, picnic tables, bus stops, public phones, and other fixtures; tree planting and landscaping; signposts; and lighting. Almost 70,000 trees and 183,651 garden plants were planted; and 202 km of thoroughfares and 280 ha of parks were protected. All of this was done at an approximate cost of US$ 100 million. The Bicycle Path Master Plan proposed the construction of 450 km of paths exclusively for bicycles. It is the largest in Latin America and one of the largest in the developing world. (Montezuma, 2005) Finally, Penalosa s most spectacular achievement was successfully negotiating political opposition to initiate the TransMilenio, the highest capacity bus transit system in the world. The concept behind the system is to give buses their own lanes, to have passengers pay at the station and to have them enter the bus from a station that is the same height as the entrance of the bus, leading to substantial time efficiency gains. (Ardila-Gómez 2004; 369) With an extensive network of feeder roads, this system has drastically improved accessibility of transportation to the poor linking them to their places of employment, while reducing congestion and pollution. It also drew wealthier habitual car users who were able to save time by taking the BRT, raised property values and lowered crime along the BRT pathways (Ardila-Gómez 2004: ). By October 2002, the system was moving 790,000 passengers a day and a poll taken the same year suggested 78% of users found the bus service good or very good. Accidents along the bus corridor declined dramatically; deaths decreased by 89% and injuries by 83% (Diaz 2003). It is now being extensively studied as a global model. As a result of close to a decade of reforms, Bogotá is a new city. Whereas in the mid- 1990s traffic moved at a speed of well below 10 kph during rush hour, by mid it had increased to 18 kph. More than one-third of the total number of private vehicles driven during rush hour has been reduced. There has also been a rise in the number of trips on foot and by bicycle, from 7% to 11% and 2% to 4%, respectively. (Montezuma, 2005) Bogotá is now statistically safer than Caracas and Rio de Janiero, not to mention Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Bogotá's murder rate dropped 52 percent from the time Mockus. It is now one of the lowest among big cities in Latin America. (Montezuma, 2005) In 2000, Penalosa was honored with the Stockholm Challenge Award for creating Bogotá s car-free day - the largest and most successful event of its kind in the world.
9 CASE STUDY #2 Fighting Corruption: Mayor Goh Kun My vision of the 21 st century Seoul is as the City of Hope. A city that takes its place among the world s great cities, one where the environment and population work together in harmony (Interview with Mayor Goh by 1StopKorea February 25, 2001) South Korea has experienced rapid and relatively equitable economic growth over the last decades. However, until 1993 the country did not enjoy political freedoms. Korea was under military rule with political power concentrated in the president s office. It was common practice for businesses to give funds to the President in return for favors. The first democratically elected president Kim Young Sam began a process of reform targeting the high levels of bribery by requiring government and military officials to publish their financial records. This move led to the resignation of several high-ranking officers and cabinet members. New political space and the new fight against campaign led to the revelations of a number of scandals which shocked Koreans. In the Slush Fund scandal for example it came to light that former President General Roh Tae-Woo was had been receiving about 10 million dollars a month from business conglomerates (Blechinger 2000, Koh 1996). Kim Young Sam subsequently had Mr. Roh arrested on charges of corruption and treason. This spate of scandals has seriously eroded the faith Koreans have in the country s leadership. Mr. Clean gets elected: The prevalence of bribery was not only at national levels. The city government of Seoul was rife with corruption. Bribes were most often necessary to get service and such fees would allow preferential treatment. This changed in 1999 when Goh Kun won the Mayoral election in Seoul. Having joined the civil service in the 1960s, he held a series of positions in the government in the 1980s (Governor of Jeonnam Province, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Home Affairs) and then appointed Mayor of Seoul from 1988 to The central government had dismissed him for his anti-corruption initiatives. He rose to become Prime Minister from , and then again from 2003 to When he won the Mayoral election in 1998, he was determined to carry through his anticorruption reforms and enacted a substantive and innovative anti-corruption initiative that involved citizen participation. Nicknamed Mr. Clean for his reforms, his innovative ideas increased the transparency of the Seoul municipal government. Empowered by the precedent set by Kim Young Sam s anti-corruption initiatives, Mayor Goh made fighting corruption his fist priority and, unlike previous municipal governments, approached the campaign systematically to address its root cause. The idea was to create an administrative system that eliminated the causes of corruption and prevented unethical behavior. To this end, the administration introduced preventive measures, established punitive measures, increased transparency in administration, and enhanced public-private partnership. These measures were carried out through
10 deregulation programs, rotating of duties and firing officials for any involvement in corruption no matter how small. Once every month, return postcards are sent to those who have business with the city government in those fields prone to corruption. They are asked to mail the cards directly back to the mayor with any information of corruption they have witnessed. Within two years the number of city employees was reduced by 20 percent and outside professionals were brought in to increase expertise. Some privatization and outsourcing were also implemented. In order to prevent corruption during the processing of applications, the Mayor created The Seoul Metropolitan Government's Online Procedures Enhancement for Civil Applications referred to as the OPEN system. When a reporter asked him where he had gotten the idea to make the government more transparent by using the Internet he responded that Benjamin Franklin stressed the significance of transparency in eradicating corruption by saying that ``sunlight is the best disinfectant.'' Nearly half of all Koreans use the Internet at any convenient time and place. I thought the Internet would be the best tool to take the role of the sunlight. (Korea Times, 2001). The Audits & Inspection Bureau was put in charge of the overall development process and the Information System Planning Bureau was to support the informatics system development. Through this system 26 categories of civil applications are published on the Web and are the ones that most frequently cause irregularities, cause inconvenience to citizens due to the complexity of the processing procedure, and those whose publication is expected to curb requests for concessions. The system publishes a variety of information related to the services, permits and licenses issued by the local government. People can get civil applications through the internet and avoid having to go to a government office. Free access to the status of an application makes applicants feel no need to contact officials or to provide a bribe to complete the process. Whether a citizen applies for a permit to build an office building or to start a trash-removal service, citizens can find out the date the applications were received, the status of the application, the final result, the department and the staff in charge of the civil application as well as their telephone numbers and addresses. In a recent article in The Korea Times Mr. Goh reflected upon his term as Mayor of South Korea and said that The most important thing, however, is that I eradicated corruption among Seoul city government officials. I also set up an online administration system, which could be seen by the public in real time.' With the new transparent system, nobody needs to bribe city officials for expediting the city government's permission process or other similar affairs. (Korea Times, 2001) The cost of developing the OPEN system was a mere $320,000. Moreover, the government did not incur additional costs for training in implementing the system since all such needs were met by ongoing staff. (The Korea Society Quarterly, 2001) Given OPEN s success, the central government introduced the system to the central organizations and local self-governing bodies. In addition, in 2001, Seoul and the United Nations hosted the Seoul Anticorruption Symposium which made the OPEN system an internationally approved anti-
11 corruption system. As a result, the manual for the OPEN system has been printed in 6 different official languages of the United Nations. The city's product is used throughout the nation, and now Seoul is making plans to export the software. In addition, various channels of direct dialogue are available between citizens and the mayor. The "Mayor's Saturday Date with Citizens" program was an unprecedented program and demonstrated Mr. Goh s commitment to increasing citizen participation in the government. Through the Saturday Date program any citizen of Seoul can apply for a meeting with the mayor using the method most convenient method to the person- by personal visit, phone, fax, mail or the Internet. Meetings take place every Saturday between 10am and 12pm and are attended by around 15 people including the Mayor, experts from the private sector such as professors and lawyers, representatives of civic organizations, media representatives, and the 4-6 citizens whose applications are to be discussed. The participants discussed the issue and at the end of the date the Mayor suggests the best solution. The dates usually lasted approximately one hour. The relevant government department came up with an implementation plan and reported it to the citizen who could then check on the status of projects. Of the 1,509 cases filed from July of 1998 through December of 2000, 867 were civil applications (379 civil applications filed by groups and 488 filed by individuals). Of the 1,273 cases processed, 329 were accommodated. Resolution was reached in 62.3% of the cases. (Kim, Ik-sik)
12 CASE STUDY #3 Zachie Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign Our lives matter, the 5 million people in South Africa with HIV matter, and the millions of people throughout the world already with HIV, their lives matter. (14 th International Aids Conference, Barcelona 2002) South Africa has the largest number of HIV-infected people in the world, about 5 million, or over 11 percent of its population of 43.8 million. Unfortunately, in the mid 1990s the newly elected African National Congress (ANC) government of South Africa took the position that access to AIDS drugs was dangerous because of the toxicity of these drugs. Instead or providing treatment and prevention strategies for HIV/AIDS the government decided to focus on nutrition and poverty alleviation, in essence banning highly effective anti-retrovirals At the same time, wealthier and more influential people found ways to access the drugs which meant this policy was in many ways a condemnation to death for the average poorer person in society with this horrible disease. In response, in 1998 Zackie Achmat co-founded and became chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign which aimed at providing all HIV positive South Africans with access to critical drugs. Achmat felt that the South African government s decision not to provide antiretroviral drugs to HIV-infected people was unethical. However, as a loyal ANC member and veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle he was initially loathe to take on the new government. Instead, he started by focusing on the pharmaceutical companies and the global patent protection that made these critical drugs so expensive. Even at the most reduced price there was almost a three times difference between the brand name drug and the generic. The initial objective of TAC s campaign was to bring the prices down to an affordable level for people both in the private sector and the government, so that the government could afford purchasing the drugs The primary aim of his campaign was to get cooperation from individuals, government and civil society to get everyone, to ensure that the four to five million people in the country infected with HIV, who would die prematurely from an avoidable death, get treatment. Zachie Achmat, himself HIV positive, relied heavily on publicity to galvanize public opinion in TAC s favor. This often meant facing the silence and stigma associated with AIDS within South African society and educating people on the extent, seriousness and human side of the problem. In a dramatic gesture of solidarity with the poor, in 1999, Zackie HIV positive himself, started the first ever drug strike and refused to take antiretroviral medication until it was available to all South Africans, declaring I will not take expensive treatment until all ordinary South Africans can get it on the public health system (Power 2003, 2). Another strategy was to focus on babies born to HIV positive mothers; in ,000 babies a year were born to HIV positive mothers and doses of the drug AZT given to these pregnant women could reduce by half the likelihood that children would be HIV
13 positive themselves. This focus on babies was a deliberate attempt to shame the manufacturer Glaxo into lowering the price (Power 2003, 7). However, even when a similar drug Nevirapine was offered free from its manufacturer, the government refused to administer it and TAC took the government to court which ruled that this was a violation of the constitution. Pregnant mothers gained access to the drug to protect their unborn babies. TAC has worked to build literacy in the disease and its treatment. This included printing hundreds of HIV positive shirts for supporters to defy societal silence on the issue. Their work has helped to de-stigmatize HIV and AIDS. They also launched a defiance campaign and imported generic substitutes. It was dilemma to decide whether to obey what was perceived as an unjust law or to act. When the government decided to prosecute for the illegal importation, Achmat turned himself in to police. As a result of this campaign Glaxo SmithKline and other Pharmaceutical companies agreed to allow production of low-cost generic versions of their drugs. Faced with continued resistance from the South African government, even in light of victories in reducing drug prices, Zackie and TAC turned their attention more fully on the government. In March 2003 TAC laid culpable homicide charges against the Health Minister and her trade and industry colleague. TAC claimed the pair was responsible for the deaths of 600 HIV-positive people a day in South Africa who had no access to antiretroviral drugs. Feeling pressured the government ordered the health department to develop a detailed operational plan to provide antiretroviral drugs to people living with HIV / AIDS. Through mass mobilization, civil disobedience, legal action, extraordinary personal sacrifice, and visionary leadership, Zackie Achmat and the TAC have helped to galvanize a global movement to provide hope and gain access to treatment for those with HIV/Aids. As a result of these new policies increasing access to critical drugs, Achmat and TAC have in effect saved thousands of lives and dramatically improved the quality of those lives. Time magazine voted Achmat one of the 35 heroes of 2003 and in 2004, TAC and Zackie Achmat were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
14 CASE STUDY #4 Promoting Unity in the Face of War: Tuzla s Selim Beslagic You must remember that your citizens are your customers and you represent them all, whatever their ethnicity. In Yugoslavia in the 1990s, national and local leaders encouraged the disintegration of their country by fostering ethnic resentment for political gain. The result was a horrific war and genocide against Muslims in multi-ethnic Bosnia. Pressures were intense for multi-ethnic communities to break apart and disperse into ethnically pure enclaves protected by militias. One local leader, the Mayor of Tuzla however, offered a model of effective and ethical leadership that promoted peace among his disparate citizens and supported unity rather than conflict. He led a multi-ethnic resistance against Serb militias and also defied the Bosnian leadership by refusing to allow any retaliation against innocent Serb or Croatian citizens in Tuzla. A director of a cement factory, Selim Beslagic entered politics in the early 1990s when the former Yugoslavia s liberal prime minister asked him to organize what was to eventually become the Social Democrat Party (SDP) in his home city of Tuzla. During the first multi-party elections in Yugoslavia, Beslagic was elected the mayor of Tuzla. The city of Tuzla, the fourth largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was noted for its mix of ethnicities that have existed peacefully together for centuries- half Muslim, a quarter Serb and Croat. To give a voice to the different ethnic components of his city, the Beslagic and his SDP created a city government that included members of the different ethnic groups present in Tuzla. In the early 1990s, when a horrific war of disintegration occurred with militias fighting for control of Bosnian territory and creating ethnically pure enclaves through killings and displacement, tensions in Tuzla began to splinter people that had until then lived in peace. Mayor Beslagic took an active role in combating the exclusionary nationalism that encouraged violence in Tuzla. He called upon the underlying common bonds that would keep his city together, saying We are all, unfortunately, endangered, Muslims, Serbs, and Croats. We are under threat as a people, as citizens regardless of our ethnic background (Post-Conflict Foundation, 2006). Beslagic remained steadfastly committed to this idea of unity, highlighting the citizens common interest in peace. In a speech in January 1992, Beslagic expressed this theme, declaring with respect to Tuzla s citizens, During the course of the war they have been through trials which could so easily have poisoned them with the powers of darkness and cut the holy umbilical cord tying them to the anti-fascist roots and traditions of this area. In fact, they demonstrated remarkable maturity, rising above the fascist consciousness that surrounded them on every side, and not allowing themselves to sink to that same level of destruction, nihilism, and darkness. (Post-Conflict Foundation, 2006). To
15 reduce ethnic tensions and highlight connecting forces, Beslagic organized the city residents into cross-cutting multiethnic civic groups, such as the Association of Women and the Civic Forum which played a key role in bringing citizens together to articulate a reinforce their values of tolerance and peace. (Egbert 1997, Forum of Tuzla s Citizens 2006, Weiss, 2006) Even as the Serb militias were bombing Tuzla, Beslagic maintained that the enemy besieging their city was not the Serbs, but the ethnic animosity the war represented. He took a personal interest in protecting Serbs and their culture in Tuzla. For example, when a Serb shell struck the Serbian Orthodox church, a cultural and historic landmark in Tuzla in 1993, Beslagic ordered its immediate repair and the church was fixed within 24 hours. This church was the one of the only Serb religious buildings in the former Yugoslavia not destroyed during the war. (Egbert, 1997) In another incident, the Mufti of Tuzla was captured by Croatian extremists and some Muslims threatened to retaliate by kidnapping the Catholic priest. Beslagic told the angry Muslims that the problem could be solved without violence. He personally negotiated the release of the Mufti, while hiding the Catholic priest just in case. (Weiss n.p. 10) Beslagic s struggle for peace was not without significant opponents. His steadfastness in combating ethnic fragmentation meant hostility from the central Bosnian government, who felt his refusal to support Bosnian soldiers from evicting Serb and Croatian families, was hindering the war effort. As a result, the commander of the Bosnian Army denounced him as an enemy of the republic and Beslagic himself felt in jeopardy as felt he would be arrested for his acts of defiance. (Egbert, 1997) Beslagic rejects that he or the actions he undertook to sustain his city were remarkable, but merely claims to hold true to principles he believed were necessary to support peace in his small city. However, at least one observer has called him gifted with exceptional ability to get near ordinary people and win their trust which no doubt played into his success at mediating conflicts in his community (Udovicic 2000). Today, Tuzla continues to thrive in the post-conflict setting, due to its relative stability under Beslagic s leadership. In 1997, Mayor Beslagic was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as the recipient of the W. Avarell Harriman Award by the National Democratic Institute. He remained mayor for ten years. In November 2000, Beslagic won the most votes in Tuzla Cantonal (population 600,000) parliamentary elections and in February 2001 he was sworn in as Governor of Tuzla's Canton.
16 CASE STUDY #5 Mayor Jan Kasl of Prague The fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe in the 1990s left many national governments dealing with the simultaneous challenges of the democratic transition and adjustments to capitalism. The city government of Prague in the Czech Republic was no exception. Many of the city s new responsibilities involving taxation, confiscated property, and privatization created challenges for the municipality and lead to opportunities for many of the city s officials to profit from their positions. Corruption thus became an endemic problem. As the city headed into the municipal elections of 1998, many citizens felt it was time to change. Throughout the 1990s, a powerful mayor, Jan Koukal held considerable sway over city politics, and many believed he had profited immensely from Prague s free market transition. Nicknamed Mayor Machiavelli because of his alleged custom of handing out political favors to secure support, Koukal was a powerful figure in the city s political scene. Known for his ability to get things done, it came as no surprise that Koukal was the ruling Civic Democratic Party (ODS) s candidate for mayor in the elections. Although the ruling Civic Democratic Party (ODS) succeeded in winning the elections, it lost the majority it had once enjoyed and was forced to form a coalition government. The other parties, refusing to support Koukal, eventually agreed on a relatively unknown politician, Jan Kasl, a young architect who had won election to the city assembly. Kasl, given just hours to decide, accepted the nomination. Although admittedly a relative newcomer and an inexperienced politician, Kasl would not turn out to be the quiet figurehead and rubber stamp many had imagined. In contrast to Koukal, Kasl had not been well established in city politics or even his party. To add to his challenges, Kasl faced a situation in which Koukal, the man he had replaced, remained leader of the party. Moreover, due to his overnight transition, Kasl was unable to build a team of professionals he could trust with assisting him in the administration of the city. It was, as he later said It was like coming somewhere naked with only a fair amount of optimism and naiveté (Rosegrant, 2005). Kasl immediately proclaimed the fight against corruption as his primary goal. To Kasl, the Prague municipal government was a byzantine relic of communism, composed of old matadors that needed to be held more accountable to the people. In this vein, Kasl wanted to set an example for the other city leaders. Although permitted under law to continue running his architectural firm, Kasl sold his successful architecture company to avoid any possibility of a conflict of interest. The first major initiative of his administration seemed simple enough: removing the iron bars and turnstiles at city hall that prevented free passage of people in and out of the building. The arguments for the barriers (fire safety and theft deterrence) were
17 unconvincing to him. More than just providing better physical access to the municipality for the citizens, the removal of the bars presented a symbolic elimination of obstructions to city government. Surprisingly for Kasl, the proposal was initially met with incredible resistance from the city councilors. After an enormous effort, he was finally able to convince them to move forward with the plan, with the realization that, according to Kasl, the significance of the problem did not correspond with the time and energy forced to deal with it (Rosegrant 2005). Throughout his tenure Kasl proceeded with his vision of a municipality free of corruption, fully accountable and accessible to its citizens. According to Kasl, full transparency is my main policy (Rosegrant 2005). Kasl undertook initiatives he felt would increase this transparency, including publishing council meeting records, clarifying the city bidding process, and providing information to the public on showing how city councilors voted on decisions. Increasing media access was critical for Kasl. Kasl believed that better media access would result in improved coverage of substantive municipal developments, rather than just political scandals and gossip, and therefore, more credibility for city government. According to Miloslav Janik, a Prague newspaper editor, before Kasl, you could only ask the politician questions through his press secretary. In one event, Kasl personally opened the drawers of his desk, symbolically demonstrating to the media that he had nothing to hide. (Rosegrant B, 2). To increase government access to citizens, Kasl also placed kiosks in city buildings for citizens to retrieve information on contracts and other city documents. The city councilors, many of whom were vocal supporters of his rival Koukal, would prove to be formidable opponents for Kasl. Throughout his tenure, they became his greatest obstacle to change. Their explicit hope from the beginning was that Kasl would simply take over the ceremonial duties of the mayor, with the power Koukal once possessed under their control. The resistance of these city councilors to Kasl s reforms would eventually lead to his resignation as mayor in May 28, 2002 only four months before his term ended Although the specific successes of Kasl s attempts at change remain contested, his struggle against the status quo serves as a powerful lesson of how building coalitions of reform is critical to success. Regardless as Kasl put it, he still may have opened the possibility for somebody who may have the political support to realize reform. (Rosegrant 2005) Indeed, at least one contender for Mayor Michael Hviz dala tipped his hat to Kasl who tried to set the rules of the game so as to reduce the opportunity for corruption and vowed to keep up the fight (Mudrannincova 2002). Ultimately, Pavel Bem of the ODS was elected to mayor and while he has not moved significantly forward on the anticorruption front he is working to keep his promise to concentrate on improving the work of the town hall, and open it fully to people one of Kasl s legacies. (Radio Praha 2002)
18 COMMON THREADS: REASONS FOR SUCCESS In all of these cases, reformers of the public sphere were clearly faced with significant challenges and difficult problems: the centrifugal stresses of civil war, entrenched private interests, deep distrust of government, corruption, or intransigent government actors on a matter of life and death such as access to life-saving drugs. However, each leader met and overcame their challenge to varying degrees. How do we define success? In a number of the cases, we documented some of the more tangible outcomes. However, determining success cannot just be based on outcomes. It must also involve broader processes and debates triggered by the reform that are often less tangible but nevertheless important. Thus, even though many of Kasl s attempted reforms were never actually realized, Kasl was an ethical leader who struggled with implementing reform and potentially opened the door for future transformation. Indeed it is too premature to determine the lasting impact of his initiative. This paper, therefore, does not focus on the magnitude of success or the outcome of the initiatives but rather on the elements that guided the process of their reforms. Overcoming challenges and transforming public life to whatever degree involved these leaders approaching the process of transformation in five key dimensions: Re-imaging Public Life: Ethical Visions The leaders projected a strong set of values and visions for the public good. As Enrique Penalosa explained, in order to create effective reforms, first you have to have a vision of what you want, a collective vision (Mark, 2005). Visions help to frame issues and make them mutually comprehensible to the general public (Keck and Sikkink, 1998). What distinguishes the visions of these leaders from the vision of the Serb militias on the outskirts of Tuzla (whose vision was highly exclusive and involved violently excluding non-serbs from this vision through ethnic cleansing) and makes them ethical is that they had at their core a respect for universal human dignity and a notion of an inclusive and democratic public. The visions centered on creating a government and society that improved the quality of life, fostered a sense of human well being and happiness, created a sense of community in which citizens knew their responsibilities as well as their rights, and was environmentally sustainable. Two striking elements that run throughout all the visions is a conscious inclusion of the most vulnerable members of society and a vision of the larger public good which includes the concerns of those most often excluded. Zachie Achmat, a champion for the rights of people infected with AIDS, made it his personal mandate to ensure that AIDS patients had access to antiretroviral treatment. This conviction came from a belief that every life (including his own given that he also had HIV) had value and that every person should be treated with dignity and respect no matter what their social or economic position in society: Our lives matter, the 5 million people in South Africa with HIV matter, and the millions of people throughout the world already with HIV, their lives matter. (14 th International Aids Conference, Barcelona 2002)
19 Penalosa also focused on improving the lives of his most vulnerable citizens whom he felt were victims of a polluted, harsh and unbearable lifestyle. He imagined Bogotá from the point of view of a child, perhaps because this represented the most vulnerable and voiceless member of any public. He stated In Bogotá our goal was to make a city for all the children. The measure of a good city is one where a child on a tricycle or bicycle can safely go anywhere. If a city is good for children, it will be good for everyone else (Walljasper 2004). Indeed, Mayors Mockus and Penalosa imagined creating a city for all people. It was to be an environmentally sustainable and aesthetic city that encouraged healthy, more active lifestyles and elevated citizens self esteem According to Mockus, "In a society where human life has lost value, there cannot be another priority than reestablishing respect for life as the main right and duty of citizens." (Harvard Gazette, 2004) Penalosa also saw his vision of urban reform as a project involving democratizing the city. We are going to make the city more democratic, where the public good is going to prevail over the private interest, he declared (Mark 2005). Democracy for Penalosa does not simply mean that people get to vote, but that public policy speaks to the everyday and central concerns of the poorer and more vulnerable in society as well as the wealthier and spreads its benefits to all in the form of cleaner air, lower crime, less congestion, more enjoyable public spaces-basic public goods. Similarly, Selim Beslagic s vision was also based on the idea that people share a common humanity. The vision was of a society in which simple citizenship, not national, ethnic, or religious identity, constituted membership in his model society. At the beginning of the war when faced with serious strains on the city s multi-cultural fabric, he declared, We are all, unfortunately, endangered, Muslims, Serbs, and Croats. We are under threat as people, as citizens regardless of our ethnic background. Our political goal is the citizen s option. This means political, legal, and social equality for all citizens regardless of their religious, ethnic, or political affiliations. We divide and evaluate people according to the contribution they make by their work and abilities and not according to religion, ethnicity, and the like (Post-Conflict Foundation, 1). Beslagic also did all he could to draw attention to the killings of innocent civilians by local militias and put pressure on the United Nations to stop them. When an artillery attack on a local gathering spot killed 71 young people, Beslagic held the international community and humanity in general accountable for the actions against his citizens. Beslagic told the UN Security Council in a statement, The citizens of Tuzla have nothing to say to you. The civilization of the 20th century has nothing to say either to you. Because you are quietly watching the killing of the innocent people and you do have the means to stop it. Your behavior is nothing else but collaboration in this crime against humanness. (Post-Conflict Foundation, 1). Although not often recognized, this ethical orientation helped produce successes in managing and designing solutions to over-coming difficult problems. As Penalosa s
20 Assistant Oscar Diaz summed up in his testimony to the US Senate on the TransMilenio bus system: Our proposed model is neither technologically sophisticated nor economically demanding. It requires, however, political decisions aimed at truly making the public good prevail (Diaz 2003). Practicing what you preach: Personal Ethics While some normative narratives have a force of their own regardless of the articulator, the behavior of prominent leaders espousing ethical leadership makes a difference. When normative narratives are perceived as tools for narrow instrumental ends, many potential supporters become skeptical and unconvinced of the possibility for change. The narratives are then seen as rhetoric laced with hypocrisy. An essential element that created widespread support for the leaders in our cases was the fact that the leaders personally embodied their beliefs and lived by them. For example, although Goh Kun had ample opportunities to engage in corruption in his long political career, he was Mr. Clean and in fact was dismissed at one point for his anti-corruption initiatives when he was an appointed mayor. This practicing what you preach was essential to building trust and support among an often deeply disappointed and cynical public and helps explain his election as mayor. Perhaps the most moving gesture was Zackie Achmat s refusal to medicines at great personal risk to his life-an act symbolizing his solidarity with those who were refused access to anti-retro-virals by the South African government s policy on AIDS. Similarly, Beslagic astounded UN peace-keepers when he refused badly needed food aid based on principle. As one witness accounts the story: One day the Mayor of Tuzla, Selim Beslagic just ups and says, We re not accepting your UN aid until you do something about our Muslim brothers in Cerska. We can t accept food aid while they are being ethnically cleansed by the aggressor. Just like that. It floored us. Each day, we d drive down to escort the aid they refused to let anything across their territory. Clever tactic but they had a point-morally, they couldn t allow food aid convoys from Belgrade, transiting Serb-held territory, to enter Tuzla, be unloaded and then scoff the food while Muslims were being cleansed out of their home (Stankovic 2000, ). Often, ethical visions were articulated through symbolic politics or a powerful ability to call upon symbols, actions and stories that made sense for a broad audience (Keck and Sikkink 1998, 16). Symbols became modes for easy communication to articulate their visions to a broader public. Mockus took his narrative of reinvigorating citizenship to the symbolic level by walking down the streets of Bogotá in red and blue tights as Super Citizen. The use of wanted posters for the Minister of Health who with the President was blocking efforts to provide drugs to HIV positive people in South Africa and the reporting of this as a form of murder at a local police station was another way Achmat and the TAC were able to symbolically redefine what lack of access to drugs meant: avoidable death (Power 2003).